Jurrien Timber of Ajax disappointed after the loss during the Eredivisie match between Ajax and AZ

Jurrien Timber and Arsenal are the perfect match: This lung-busting run from defence shows why

The modern-day defender needs to be competent at pretty much every aspect of the sport, luckily for Arsenal fans, Jurrien Timber manages to tick almost every box.

With the Dutch defender set to undergo a medical, Arsenal fans can start to get excited. Singing on a five-year deal until 2028, we can’t wait to see him in action in the Premier League.

It’s no secret that the Gunners have been after a centre-half for a while now, we all saw how their backline struggled to cope in the absence of William Saliba towards the back end of last season.

Timber isn’t coming to North London to settle as a squad player though, he’s coming straight for the starting 11. With a unique playstyle and lofty potential, he could be the ideal fit for Mikel Arteta’s side.

There’s no doubt that Timber has honed his craft over the past few years, but we still can’t help but be mesmerised by a goal he scored against SC Cambuur back in 2021.

The clip showcases just what the 22-year-old is all about. A defender who wins the ball, starts attacks and even finishes them too – he’s the full package.

With the opposition breaking on a counter, Timber takes the ball off the attacker’s foot with ease. While some defenders will think of that as a job well done, Timber is only just getting started.

One quick glance through his compilations on YouTube and you will see just how comfortable on the ball he is, he even whips out a roulette every once in a while.

In this instance though he keeps things simple and drifts around the Cambuur defender like he’s a training cone. He plays a slick one-two with his teammate before burying the finish himself.

From front to back, he has a little bit of everything in his game. Arsenal fans are bound to love him in no time.

“He is another great leader that was trained at Ajax. Besides his football skills he has the personality to become a captain,” Erik ten Hag said while discussing Timber in his final press conference as Ajax boss.

The 22-year-old thrived while working under Ten Hag as he probably had his best individual season in 2021-22, which proved to be Ten Hag’s final year at the club.

Considering the similarities between Ten Hag and Arteta, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a relationship blossoming between the pair. Just look at how Arteta has developed the likes of Saliba and Ben White for example.

Timber created 14 chances in the Eredivisie last season, which is more than Saliba and Gabriel managed between them. Not only does he halt the opposition, but he hurts them too.

Perhaps the only thing he lacks is that nasty streak that all great defenders seem to have in them. Jaap Stam thinks that’s the one area of his game where he can improve.

“With Timber, I just miss a certain amount of aggression – sometimes even being a little mean – in his game,” Stam told Dutch publication Algemeen Dagblad.

“That is also, for example, in giving the first blow before the real duels come. Lisandro Martinez does. You can learn that too, but it has to be in you.”

With a dynamic defender like Timber added to Arsenal’s ranks, along with Declan Rice and Kai Havertz, we can’t help but get excited about the Gunners next season.

By Ben Stewart

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